County Council candidate profile: Lisa Gapero
Lisa Gapero is challenging incumbent Mike Victorino for the Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu seat on the County Council.
Gapero’s responses to our candidate questionnaire are listed below.
Lisa Gapero, 60
Occupation: Retired business owner
Educational Background: Currently working toward a Master’s Degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Maui Outreach Center.
Community Involvement: American Cancer Society, Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, Phi Theta Kappa
Political Experience: None
1) WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?
Although the economy is at the lowest I’ve ever experienced, I do not see the county government responding to the needs of this situation. The focus of the council is directed at petty issues, and now is the time to address the larger issues such as housing, jobs, supporting business to create jobs and improvement to relationships in tourism. The opposite seems to be the focus of the present County Council. It is time for a new mindset in the council. We cannot afford to fail the citizens of Maui. Collaborative efforts are needed to connect with the tourism industry and all businesses. I bring these qualities to the job.
2) HOW CAN MAUI COUNTY DIVERSIFY ITS ECONOMY,
SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES AND CREATE JOBS?
Maintaining the status quo and looking the other way does not work. Worst yet, policing the window displays of local businesses here on Maui is the wrong direction. The present administration is taking this road and the council is slow to respond. Now is the time to encourage job development, and that needs to be addressed immediately through tax credits to businesses, which in turn will increase our tax base once their revenues are allowed to increase. We must prepare our youth for a global economy based on knowledge and innovation. Businesses cannot survive in a climate of fear and uncertainty. We need to encourage technology and sustainable businesses to come here, and then and only then can we provide better jobs for our youth.
3) WHAT ARE THE THREE KEY ISSUES IN THE 2010 ELECTIONS,
AND HOW WOULD YOU ATTACK THEM?
Re-prioritize our direction in spending for the county. The county budget is increasing in size and money as the private sector shrinks. The opposite needs to happen, so that our population is served and we are not serving the government. Encouraging job creation by getting out of the regulation and policing of businesses trying to earn a living. Expand our tourism base in a global market and give tourism a much-needed break in the taxes they are mandated to pay. So it goes without saying: JOBS, JOBS and JOBS!! And quit sending the message that Maui is closed for business!
4) WHY SHOULD VOTERS CHOOSE YOU?
I have no hidden agenda — my reason for running is that I believe in BETTER for the people of Maui. We are happier when we are working and can provide for our families. We cannot do that if we continue electing people because you recognize their name. We need to elect people who will fight for them and get money back in their pockets — not in the hands of the government! And I will do that. I have worked hard all my life, often logging in 70-80 hours a week. I know what it takes. What I haven’t been doing is running around patting people on the back, making false promises or joining every club or organization to forward a personal political agenda. The one thing the people of Maui can count on with me as their council member is HONEST HARD WORK!
5) WHAT ARE THE TOP PRIORITIES OF YOUR DISTRICT?
Wailuku has so much heritage and culture as the small town of business and government, and yet our roads are some of the worst. I’d like to change that. Wailuku is a comforting town to all who visit. I’d like to see Wailuku retain its old town atmosphere, and the First Friday is a spectacular event for Wailuku. Wailuku is right at the center of the water issue as well. With the water issue, it’s important to the people to get the water to all the citizens of Maui and not retain the plantation mentality of control. Control is the issue here, and that will be a battle that needs to be fought by a strong administration — not a weak administration, which is the state of affairs we are currently in.